Seems like everyone wants to take a bite out of Apple these days. In China, an Internet technology company claims to have been in a relationship with the technology behind Siri before Apple and the virtual personal assistant even starting dating. Back home in California, a small company that wants to make sure you understand up front that they are not a troll is nonetheless suing Apple for patent infringement. That Cupertino team of legal eagles is never bored, are they?
When Apple brought the big bad legal team to boss around a small Mexico City IT company, Cupertino probably thought they had a quick courtroom victory waiting for them. Surprise! Also, you know those speakers in your iPhone, iPad and Mac that sound a little better than they should? THX claims to know why, and they are not happy about it.
Two major developments this week in separate, high profile Apple lawsuits. It's like going back in time to tell the court "my bad." Step into our DeLorean today and we'll travel back in time to revisit some courtroom drama that is back in the news again.
Smurfberries, zombie toxin, city cash, and gems just got real expensive for Apple. A nine-digit settlement proposal is now on the table, as Apple agrees to foot the bill for kids who racked up in-app purchases on their parents' iTunes accounts. That's right; Cupertino will be taking responsibility for parents who refuse to take responsibility for the actions of their own kids. What the Smurf, right?
Hearings began this week in David Einhorn's lawsuit against Apple, and right away the rockstar hedge-fund manager got the court to lean a little in his favor. This case is going to be fast and furious, particularly with an Apple event just a few days away that Einhorn would like to see postponed. Is Einhorn just playing the role of greedy investor, trying to puppet-string the stock market with a slick PR campaign? Or does this lawsuit actually have some legitimate legs?
A few weeks ago, we mentioned the growing discontent from some Apple investors, and the lurking potential for legal action. Well, last Thursday one of Cupertino's high-profile investors did just that, and launched a lawsuit against Apple in Federal District Court in Manhattan. A few days ago, Tim Cook responded like a parent answering a child who won't stop asking for a pony. Nobody likes to get swept into a high-profile lawsuit, do they?
David Einhorn's Greenlight Capital, a shareholder in Apple, filed a federal lawsuit against Cupertino today in response to a proposal set for a shareholder vote on February 27. According to Einhorn, Apple is hoarding large amounts of cash. Apple, as you might have guessed, disagrees with many of the statements made by Greenlight.
Finally, some clarity on the $1 billion jury ruling from the big trial with Samsung last summer. Samsung had a wish list that included dismissing the case entirely, while Apple made a pitch for triple damages, among other things. Judge Lucy Koh finally ruled on most of the issues; would Samsung get off scot free, or would Apple be lugging an even bigger check to the bank? Also, if you are able to invest in companies, and one of the companies is doing really well and earning a lot of profit, is your next move really to sue them?
Apple and Samsung reached a major agreement in court. No, not to settle their claims against each other and put an end to the Patent Wars. Instead, the two business partners finally agreed on which products they would each allow the other company to add to the next super trial between their alter-egos in court. But aside from pithy headlines and ten-digit jury awards, are any of these products in risk of being banned in the United States?
This week, Apple finds itself in several rather awkward courtroom dramas: being asked by a U.S. judge to find a way to go away; being sued by a European Union nation for something it should have fixed a year ago; and being railroaded by a Russian company for failing to police the App Store. All aboard! It's time for another trip on the Law & Apple Express.